Food is a source of nourishment for the body, but it’s cafés such as these that give nourishment to the soul, and the society at large. Located in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, this café is winning hearts on the Internet for its unique nature. The ‘Nukkad Teafe’ only employees people with visual and speech impairment along with members of the transgender community.
Well, so if you visit this place, it means more than just having a cup of special chai or clicking pictures of the food for your Instagram. On the contrary, the eatery urges you leave your phone aside and go back to days where one would have a meaningful conversation with strangers. In fact, if you agree to deposit your phone till you are there, they give you a 10 per cent discount on the total bill!
So, once in Nukkad you could learn how to communicate in sign language, read books, recite poems, meet like-minded people, play board games, make new friends in the real world instead of Facebook and actually live your life!
With decor that is rich is tribal art, scattered cushions to make you all comfy, a guitar in case you wanted to start an impromptu performance, you could also have a varied selection of chais. With an interesting menu designed in such a way that customers can easily spell it using sign language, it’s all about empowering the people who are usually considered weak by the society.
With its other branches spread across Chhattisgarh, the café’s owner and founder Priyank Patel not only wanted to help the differently-abled but also change their life. After working several years with many NGOs, he created a space where young people could meet, share ideas, form groups, and venture into something that would give an opportunity to these people to be self-reliant. He first started his first Teafe in 2013, and ever since then has been changing lives.
Apart from this social cause, they also have incorporated some other initiatives. While the Digital Detox initiative that lets one avail discounts by keeping phones away, there are others like Gyaan Daan, Bill by Dil, Tea and Tones, etc.
For their Bill by Dil initiative, they celebrated its anniversary by declaring a bill-free day. Customers can pay as much as they want for the services and food. And for their Gyaan Daan, the café works as a library. People can donate and borrow books. They can even take a book home for five days. Lovely, isn’t it?
If you are one of those who keeps scribbling a few lines on your diary, Nukkad is the place to share it. One can recite their poems or just share an experience at the Tea and Tones event.
All in all the Teafe is not just working for an amazing social cause it’s also teaching people social skills — how to be social in real life and not on social media.
Article originally published on Indian Express